Recipe & words: Gretchen Lowe
Styling: Amber Armitage
Photography: Manja Wachsmuth
Featured: Homestyle Magazine
There is little more pleasurable than the smell of a chicken roasting; with that and my love for North African inspired food, it seemed fitting to combine flavours from this continent with the traditional Kiwi roast. Of course, the end result is very far from that which we’d expect to find on our plates on a Sunday!
You can prepare the chicken in advance either a few hours before or the night before leaving it to marinate in the fridge.
Harrisa paste is available in most supermarkets now. I used Sabato, it keeps well in the fridge and can be used time and time again.
I’ve made a gluten-free stuffing with quinoa in what is a healthier yet scrumptious version of a typical bread stuffing.
For the mint labneh, this needs straining (but oh so worth it!) so either purchase and stir in chopped mint or prepare ahead.
1 whole chicken (size 14-16)
2 1/2 tbsp harissa paste
1 1/2 tsp Moroccan spice
1/2 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup quinoa, well rinsed in warm water
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 cups water
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup each chopped fresh coriander and chopped fresh mint
Root vegetable slaw
1 small fennel bulb
1 small beetroot
1 cup chopped parsley
Rinse quinoa; drain and set aside. Melt butter with oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cover; cook until it begins to lightly brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and turmeric; sauté 1 minute. Add quinoa; stir 1 minute. Add 2 cups water and currants. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in coriander and mint. Taste and season.
For the chicken – preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the chicken cavity with salt and fill with the stuffing. There will be too much stuffing so wrap the rest in an oiled tinfoil parcel and bake alongside. Secure the chicken’s cavity with toothpicks or truss with string.
For the paste – add harissa paste and all other ingredients into a small bowl and mix. Coat the chicken covering evenly and place in a roasting tray; cook for approx 1 hour 40 minutes or until the juices run clear. Baste the chicken with the fat that naturally comes off once or twice throughout this time. The paste naturally goes dark/black which is fine. For the last 20 minutes cover with tin foil if required.
Allow the chicken to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving and meanwhile prepare a quick root vegetable slaw. Peel vegetables then using a food processor thinly slice, all vegetables, then add 1 cup of chopped parsley and your favourite dressing.
Carve chicken and top with a generous dollop of mint labneh – made with 300ml plain Greek yogurt strained through a damp tea towel-lined colander (at least 4 hours) and 1 cup chopped mint, salt and pepper.
A wonderful recipe from my days at Homestyle. Thanks to the talented Manja Wachsmuth for her photography and Amber Armitage for help with food styling. x